If you run a retail shop then you’ll already know that customers are influenced by what they see within the first few seconds after entering a store.
Think about the time, money and effort involved in getting a customer to actually enter the store. Let’s not waste that effort – capture their interest immediately with outstanding visual merchandising of the products on display.
1. FOLLOW A THEME
Rather than a random, confusing, and overpowering, collection of seemingly unrelated shelves, try to link a theme for the entire store.
A theme is a way to group products together to create a powerful visual message. It connects your products to current customer interests and activities. And when they’re interested, they buy!
Actually, building a theme is not so hard and of course you’re probably doing it already with seasonal themes like Christmas and Mothers Day or for Summer and Winter sales.
But are your themes fresh and captivating? Seasonal events are easy enough, but try to reflect current community events, sporting events, or international themes such as Earth Day.
2. BE CREATIVE
Be clever with your visual presentations. For example, a summer theme in a food store might have a repeating series of cereal boxes with a ribbon accent – a shelf of dessert bowls in bright, contrasting colors. It not only looks good, but it’s also a natural add-on product.
Match products creatively. When you’re building a product display, brainstorm products that may be associated – even if you don’t normally stock them! Try selling catcher’s mitts: catch a bargain.
Or bring in a feature for your display that highlights your store theme. For example, during Indianapolis week get a Go-Kart from a local raceway.
3. SHINE A LIGHT
Featured products can be dramatically highlighted with accent lighting. Light makes products shine and enhances colors. It gives shoppers a point of focus.
But note, accent lighting doesn’t always mean ‘Spotlighting’. You can wash a display wall with light, or perhaps backlight a display use soft lighting for romance or bright lighting for reflections. (It’s worth paying a lighting specialist for a brief lesson in techniques.)
4. USE COLOR
Color catches the eye, and governs the emotions red is Hot and blue is Cool, for example. Plan bright colors for displays or end caps, and also for the middle of aisle runs. Bright and colorful focal points will draw shoppers to those key areas.
5. KEEP IT FRESH
Change your merchandising displays every week, or they’ll go ‘stale’. A fresh visual impact will create customer interest but, just as with advertising, our minds will ‘tune out’ something that is not new. Customers will walk past a stale display without consciously noticing it!
6. PLAN AHEAD
Some themes are obvious, while others need creative thought and some research into forthcoming events – local and otherwise. Draft an annual merchandising plan, and then harden it up a quarter in advance.
Show your plan to suppliers, because they may have promotional materials you don’t even know about. And where you’re planning to develop the design yourself, you may need time to approach other companies to develop their interest – such as in supplying you with a display feature.
But one thing is for sure. The store that works hard to win customer interest will also win customer sales.